Volume 9, no.2 March-April 2005

    Dialogue on development     |     Trends and analysis     |     Technical cooperation     |     Publications     |     Comings and goings     |     Calendar

Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women, opens the ten-year review and appraisal of progress in achieving gender equality: daily live web coverage will be available from 28 February-11 March beginning 10am New York time (GMT - 5 hours)

in this issue

Reaffirming the Copenhagen Declaration: core social issues of poverty eradication, full employment, and social integration fill conference rooms to capacity as Member States recommit to development for all

Beijing plus ten: high-level representatives, including a significant number of Government ministers, are gathering in New York to review and appraise progress in achieving gender equality over the last ten years


Feature article

Reaffirming the Copenhagen Declaration and development for all

The 43rd session of the Commission for Social Development successfully concluded its work in the afternoon of 18 February 2005. This session was of particular significance due to the fact that two days (10 and 11 February) were in the format of a high-level segment and were devoted to the ten-year review of the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, March 1995).

High-level segment

The segment was opened by the Deputy Secretary-General and was followed by three simultaneous high-level roundtables on the three core issues addressed at Copenhagen, namely, eradication of poverty, promotion of full employment, fostering social integration. Each roundtable was chaired by a Minister (Peru, the Netherlands, Mauritius, respectively). Attendance at and interest in the roundtables were overwhelming and there was standing room only in all of the conference rooms. The conclusions of these roundtables were presented by the Chairs at the plenary session the following morning.

Although the Commission has only 46 members, the high-level segment brought together over 130 states, 2 observer states, international organizations, agencies and entities of the UN system, including the Bretton Woods organizations. All five executive secretaries of the regional commissions attended the session, and written contributions from 19 UN agencies and entities to the ten-year review of Copenhagen were received.

The general debate of the high-level plenary meetings brought together over 80 speakers, 60 of whom were at the ministers and senior-level representatives from capitals. Statements identified areas of progress; the need to mitigate the negative effects of globalization and reinforcing the inclusive vision of Copenhagen; the importance of integrating social, economic and environmental policies to reinforce an enabling environment for development; financing for social development; and the need to extend beyond the limited definition of poverty as those living on less than $1 a day. Another issue that was mentioned was migration and the lack of an international strategy on employment and migration in the face of the changing dynamics of a global labour market. There were also calls for the need to enhance the role of the Commission for Social Development and the need to integrate emerging issues that deepen social inequalities in the future programmes of work of the Commission.

The High-Level Segment adopted a “Declaration on the tenth anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development” by consensus. As mandated by the General Assembly and the ECOSOC, the Declaration will be transmitted to the high-level plenary of the Assembly as a contribution to its review of the Millennium Declaration. The adoption of this Declaration was made possible to a large extent by the personal efforts of the Chairman of the Commission, Ambassador Kumalo of South Africa, who, against all odds, succeeded in obtaining a mandate from the General Assembly for the Commission to have a short Declaration as the outcome of its high-level segment. At the Commission itself, the Ambassador personally led the negotiation of the draft Declaration, which was difficult and frustrating at times. A few points contained in the Declaration are noteworthy:

  • There was resounding reaffirmation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action and the 24th special session of the General Assembly as the basic framework for the promotion of social development for all at the national and international levels;

  • The concept of a people-centred approach to development envisioned in the Copenhagen Declaration was restored;

  • There was recognition that the Copenhagen Declaration and the Millennium Declaration are mutually reinforcing, and that the three core issues addressed at Copenhagen, poverty eradication, employment creation and social integration, continue to be central to the national and international development agenda. In particular, the issues of employment and social integration should be injected into the Millennium Development Goals to broaden the concept of poverty eradication.

Other outcomes of the session

Two resolutions were adopted by the Commission on disabilities:

  • The first resolution, sponsored by the European Union, would renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur through 31 December 2008 to further the promotion and monitoring of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The mandate of the current Special Rapporteur, Ms. Hessa Bint Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al-Thani of Qatar, expires at the end of 2005.

  • A second resolution, sponsored by Mexico, is on the comprehensive and integral international convention to protect and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, which is currently under intense negotiation at an Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly. The resolution invites States to continue to participate actively and constructively in the Ad Hoc Committee and calls for the continuous contributions by the Commission for Social Development, the Special Rapporteur on Disability, DESA, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, entities of the UN system, NGOs and the civil society and the private sector.

A third resolution, sponsored by South Africa, was adopted on “Implementation of the social objectives of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)” which recommends the Commission for Social Development to continue to give prominence to the social dimensions of NEPAD in discussing its future priority themes.

Review of methods of work

The Commission was able to achieve consensus in adopting a decision on its future methods of work, as called for by the General Assembly in resolution 57/270B, which requested each functional commission of the ECOSOC to examine its methods of work in order to better pursue the implementation of the outcomes of the major UN conferences and summits, and to report to the Council no later than 2005 on the outcome of that examination.

On the proposal of the United States and joined by the Group of 77 and China, with the European Union coming on board only at the very last minute, the Commission decided on a series of “two-year-action-oriented implementation cycles”, which would include a review year and a policy year, beginning with its 45th session in 2007, as is currently the case with the Commission on Sustainable Development. The adoption of this decision is a significant achievement and could have implications for other functional commissions of the ECOSOC, in particular the Commission on the Status of Women.

NGO participation

NGO participation at the Commission was at an all-time high. The day before the Commission, on 8 February, a Civil Society Forum was organized with the title “Reclaiming Copenhagen”, culminating in the adoption of a Declaration, which was presented at the plenary session of the Commission the following day.

Press coverage

The Division for Social Policy and Development worked closely and effectively with DPI, resulting in extensive press coverage throughout the session such as press briefings, press conferences, coverage in many prominent news papers, journals and television network, video and exhibits.

Looking ahead

One question would be: Will the Declaration sent by the Commission, through the ECOSOC, to the General Assembly have any impact in the latter’s review of the Millennium Declaration in September 2005, given that there it will be receiving many contributions from different fora? This question and concern was discussed at a joint Bureaux meeting between the ECOSOC and the Commission last week on whether some mechanisms could be envisaged on this issue. It remains crucial that the social aspects of the macroeconomic equation will need to be seriously addressed in reviewing the implementation of MDGs.

A second issue is that given the current general disconnect between the economic sphere and social policy, will national Ministers of Finance finally realize the need for them to be concerned with social development issues and policy? It should be noted that almost all the ministers who attended the high-level segment of the Commission were Ministers of Social Affairs, with a few exceptions of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The pursuit of integrating social and economic policies needs to be enhanced.

Mr. Johan Scholvinck, Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, briefs the press on the outcome of the special session on "Copenhagen + 10" of the Commission on Social Development, which concluded on 18 February.

A complete set of document from the 43rd session of the Commission is available online at http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/csocd2005.htm

Global dialogue on development

Economic and Social Council

Preparatory event for the 2005 high-level segment
New York, 16-17 March 2005

The 2005 high-level segment of ECOSOC on the theme of “Achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, as well as implementing the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits: progress made, challenges and opportunities" is an opportunity to contribute to the high-level meeting to review the Millennium Declaration in September 2005, and the discussions around the report of the Secretary-General in response to the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.

The ECOSOC preparatory meeting will highlight the importance of the MDGs as a vehicle for human development and as the principal framework for development cooperation. The event will focus on policy actions required to meet the MDGs and builds on the Millennium Projects Report, which stresses the need for bold action that would lead to scaling up of best practices and the achievement of sustainability. Support for this event is provided by various UN entities, Bretton Woods institutions and civil society.

Contact: Ms. Aliye Celik, Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/963-4201.

DSPD adds :

Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, will be a lead discussant at a roundtable on eradication of poverty and hunger as part of the preparatory event. The lead organizers of the roundtable are FAO, IFAD, and WFP.

Contact: Mr. Sushil Raj, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1 917/367-5798.

Special high-level meeting of the Council with the international financial and trade institutions
New York, 18 April 2005

Preparation are under way for the 2005 special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the international financial and trade institutions, which will take place on Monday, 18 April 2005 in New York, the day following the spring meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee in Washington. In preparation for the meeting the President and the Bureau of the Council have undertaken preliminary consultations with the World Bank, the IMF, UNCTAD and WTO on the focus, format, participation and outcome of the forthcoming meeting. During these consultations there was a shared view that the April ECOSOC meeting should aim to contribute to an effective outcome of the June General Assembly High-level Dialogue and the September Summit. With regard to the format of the meeting it is envisaged that the structure of the meeting could be similar to that of the past two years, namely: a morning plenary meeting with a set of brief presentations by the chairs of intergovernmental bodies of institutional stakeholders, followed by several simultaneous multi-stakeholder roundtable. Further consultations with Member States and institutional stakeholders will be needed to determine the focus of the meeting. The outcome document of the meeting is envisaged to be a President’ summary which would be circulated among participants at ECOSOC’s substantive session in July, as well as at the General Assembly’s upcoming deliberations on FFD follow up.

Contact: Mr. Alberto Padova, Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination,. + 1 212/ 963-4759.

Commission on the Status of Women
49th session, New York, 28 February-11 March 2005

The forty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 28 February to 11 March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In accordance with its multi-year programme of work, the Commission will undertake a ten-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, and consider current challenges and forward-looking strategies for the advancement and empowerment of women and girls. High-level participation, including significant representation at Ministerial level, is anticipated.

The Commission will organize a high-level round table on “Innovations in institutional arrangements for promoting gender equality at national level”. The roundtable will be held in two parallel sessions on the same theme in the afternoon of 28 February. It provides an opportunity for exchange of experiences and good practices between high-level representatives from capitals. Interactive panels, on a range of topics, will also be held during morning and afternoon sessions.

The Commission will commemorate International Women's Day and 30 years of United Nations efforts to promote gender equality and empowerment of women on the morning of Friday 4 March. A number of high-level representatives and dignitaries are expected to attend. Given the commemorative nature of the event, celebratory elements will be included in the programme.

In addition to the activities on the programme of work of the Commission, a large number of side events will be organized by Member States, United Nations entities and non-governmental organizations on a wide variety of important topics.

Contact: Sharon Taylor, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 212/963-5226.

DSPD adds:

The UNPFII is organizing two side events in connection with the 10-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action . Dates and times are to be confirmed.

Women's Empowerment in Rural Communities
UN Church Center, 7 March 2005

UNPFII in conjunction with MADRE, CHIRAPAQ, and the Hunger Project present an opportunity for indigenous women to share insights and strategies on land use, food security and resource management.

Indigenous Women: Ten years after Beijing
Conference room 8, UN Secretariat building, 3 March 2005

Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action will be reviewed and evaluated from the perspective of indigenous women.

Contact: Ms. Mariana Lopez, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1 917/963-5161.

Statistical Commission
36th session, New York, 1-4 March 2005

The Commission will discuss topics such as the 2010 World Programme of Population and Housing Censuses,the revision of the 1993 system of national accounts, energy statistics, service statistics, health statistics, environmental accounting, statistical capacity building, and the revision of the Commission's working methods.

Contact: Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, Statistics Division, + 1 212/963-4849.

Commission on Population and Development
38th session, New York, 4-8 April 2005

The special theme of the 38th session of the Commission on Population and Development is “population, development and HIV/AIDS, with particular emphasis on poverty”. In addition to its deliberations on the report of the Secretary-General on the special theme (prepared by the Population Division), the Commission will also consider, inter alia, a report of the Secretary-General on the contribution of the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the millennium development goals, as well as the report of the Secretary-General on world demographic trends.

Contact: Mr. Larry Heligman, Population Division, +1 212/963-3208.

Commission on Sustainable Development
13th session, New York, 11-22 April 2005

The 13th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development will be the first policy session under the Commission’s new work cycle, and the focus will be on water, sanitation and human settlements. The mandate of CSD-13 is to build on the progress made during the review session at CSD-12 and to adopt policy decisions that would enable the implementation of practical measures and options related to the three thematic areas. The main aim of CSD-13 therefore is to mobilize action by all stakeholders at all levels for the further implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

The organization of work for CSD-13 can be divided into four parts: (1) 11-12 April: includes three sessions on regional perspectives; (2) 12-14 April: interactive discussions with focus on those practical measures that will only be possible with further concerted effort at the regional or global level; (3) 15-19 April: interactive discussions and negotiations on the Chair’s draft elements; (4) 20-22 April: High Level Segment: Ministers to discuss the way forward in ensuring the agreed policy decisions are implemented, based on the topic: “Turning Political Commitments into Action”, and to adopt the CSD-13 outputs.

Contact: Mr. Juwang Zhu, Division for Sustainable Development, +1 212/963-0380

Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
5th session, New York, 24 January-4 February 2005

Contact: Mr. Jean-Pierre Gonnot, Division for Social Policy and Development, + 1 212/963- 3256.

World Summit on the Information Society
Second meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Tunis phase, Geneva, 17-25 February 2005

The meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society will evaluate progress made on the WSIS Plan of Action agreed by 175 countries in Geneva in December 2003. PrepCom-2 began considering the final outcome to be adopted by Heads of State and Government at the Tunis summit, which takes place from 16-18 November 2005. The President of the WSIS Preparatory Committee submitted a document aimed at reaffirming political commitments made in the Geneva phase and ensuring that the Tunis phase is a ‘summit of solutions’ that will bring the benefits of the information society to all of humanity. PrepCom-2 was expected to achieve consensus on the structure and content of the final documents, with the exception of matters relating to internet governance, which will be dealt with at PrepCom-3.

Contact: UN ICT Taskforce secretariat, + 1 212/963- 5796.

International workshop on methodologies regarding free, prior, and informed consent and indigenous peoples

A workshop on methodologies regarding free, prior and informed consent and indigenous peoples was convened from 17-19 January 2005 in accordance with the Economic and Social Council decision 2004/287, following a recommendation of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its third session. The report of the workshop is available on the website of the UNPFII.

Contact: Ms. Hui Lu, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1 212/963-8378.

Trends and analysis

Committee for Development Policy
7th session, New York, 14-18 March 2005

The 7th session of the Committee for Development Policy will discuss the challenges sub-Saharan Africa faces in achieving the internationally agreed development goals: progress made and opportunities, as its contribution to the theme for the high-level segment of the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council of 2005 (Achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, as well as implementing the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits: progress made, challenges and opportunities). The Committee will also examine issues concerning reconstruction, development and sustainable peace in post-conflict countries. In addition, the Committee will consider possible refinements in the criteria for the identification of least developed countries.

Contact: Mr. Anatoly Smyshlyaev, Division or Policy Analysis and Development, +1 212/963-4687.

Committee of Experts on Public Administration
4th session, New York, 4-8 April 2005

The Committee will review critical issues related to the following three items for discussion approved by the ECOSOC: (1) revitalizing public administration: strategic directions for the future; (2) development of a methodology for a bottom-up participatory approach in identifying public administration foundations and principles; and (3) enhancement of the Celebration of the United Nations Public Service Day and of the competition for the United Nations Public Service Awards.

Contact: Mr. Jacinto de Vera, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-0525.

DESA event on the high-level United Nations development conference on Millennium Development Goals for the 2005 General Assembly review and the Economic and Social Council 2005 high-level segment
New York, 14-15 March 2005

Major issues facing the world economy and the policy debates surrounding them have an important bearing on development prospects and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Department of Economic and Social Affairs is therefore organizing a Development Conference on 14-15 March 2005 on the links between economic and social policies. The objective is to clarify and define the policy directions needed to advance the MDGs.

Eminent economists will contribute to this event, including Professor Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate. Issues that will be highlighted include structural reform and equity; economic and social effects of financial liberalization; trade liberalization and employment; monetary and exchange rate policies and employment; complementary development and social policies, the relationship between human and economic development; and targeted vs. universal social policies. High-level policymakers, Ambassadors, representatives of agencies and organizations of the UN system, the World Bank, the IMF, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academia, media and others will attend the meeting.

Contact: Ms. Aliye Celik, Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/963-4201.

UN-Energy task force
2nd session, Noordwijk, Netherlands, 12 December 2004

The second session of UN-Energy was held in the margins of the Conference on Energy for Development, hosted by the Government of the Netherlands. UN-Energy, for which DESA provides the secretariat, is the principal interagency mechanism to help ensure coherence in the UN system’s response to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and to ensure the effective engagement of non-UN stakeholders. As part of this effort, the meeting included a panel discussion on the implications of higher oil prices, with José Antonio Ocampo, USG UN DESA; Jamal Saghir, Director of Energy and Water, World Bank; Reinaldo Figuero, Senior Adviser, UNCTAD and Coby van der Linde, Clingendael Institute, serving as panelists. A lively discussion followed and it was noted that while higher prices would encourage investment and lead to more exploration, improvements in technology and the economic viability of alternative sources, oil-importing developing countries face higher import costs that strain foreign reserves and worsen balance of payments. Moreover many countries, especially the least-developed countries, find it difficult to pay for energy services needed for meeting basic needs and to fuel economic development. It was agreed that higher oil prices contributes to the urgency of further analysis, dialogue and practical follow-up. The meeting decided to undertake specific work on tools for policy integration at the national level to measure the impacts of increased use of renewable energy and bio-energy, and it endorsed UN-Energy Africa.

Contact: Ms. Kathleen Abdalla, Division for Sustainable Development, +1 212/963-8416.

International forum on partnerships
Marrakech, 21-23 March 2005

The Second International Forum on Partnerships for Sustainable Development will be organized by the Government of Morocco from 21 to 23 March 2005, in cooperation with DSD/DESA. The purpose of the Forum is to advance sustainable development implementation by strengthening and fostering water and energy related partnerships. It is expected to highlight key elements of water and energy related partnerships for sustainable development, including: using innovative partnership approaches to overcome constraints in implementing water and energy related goals; establishing new and strengthening existing partnerships, particularly in developing countries; sharing best practices and lessons learned in the partnering process. The Marrakech Forum will build upon outcomes from other international partnerships discussions, including the first International Partnerships Forum held in Rome, Italy in March 2004 and the Partnership Fair during the 12th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. The Forum outcomes will be presented at the 13th session of the Commission in April 2005.

Contact: Mr. Zvetolyub Basmajiev, Division for Sustainable Development, + 1 212/963-4671.

Fifth general meeting of African Ministers Council on Water
Entebbe, 4-6 November 2004

The Fifth general meeting of African Ministers Council on Water was held in Entebbe, Uganda from 4-6 November. The new Council was presided over by H.E. Minister Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Water Resources of Uganda. On the final day the Ministers pledged, together with H.E. Joice Mujuru of Zimbabwe, to move the group forward at CSD-13 to meet the commitments made in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) in water and sanitation and concerning the Integrated Water Resources management Plans. All the stakeholders present felt a transformation in the style of the Council’s management and the Ministers’ engagement with the efforts of everyone else. The importance of CSD-13 was universally recognized, as was the crucial role of women and civil society in implementation of the water and sanitation goals. Many of the key people put a strong emphasis on the need for dramatic change in the way the problems of sanitation have been tackled. The Ministers embraced the challenge of sanitation as an AMCOW initiative.

Contact: Ms. Marcia Brewster, Division for Sustainable Development, + 1 212/963-8590.

Mission to Senegal to attend Global WASH Forum
Dakar, 29 November-4 December 2004

The Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Forum that was held in Senegal discussed a range of issues related to finance, coalitions, local government, governance, MDGs and sanitation, water, and gender. It also included a Panel on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. The meeting adopted the Dakar Statement, containing 16 practical actions at household, local and national levels that need to be scaled up in order to attain the MDGs for water and sanitation by 2015. It also set out a roadmap for moving forward through a number of international events, including CSD 13, the UN review of MDG progress in September, the Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City in 2006, and the Water for Life Decade from 2005-2015. In his closing statement at the Forum, the President of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Dr. Abdoulaye Wade, informed delegates that Senegal had placed sanitation and hygiene on the top of its agenda, and had set up a new Ministry of Sustainable Development. CSD-13 Chair Hon. John Ashe told Forum participants that he was confident that the African Ministers Initiative on WASH (AMIWASH) would assist African countries to achieve the MDGs and JPOI targets through coalition building. CSD-13 is a timely opportunity to mobilize global support for AMIWASH.

Contact: Ms. Marcia Brewster, Division for Sustainable Development, +1 212/963-8590.

Indigenous thematic planning conference for the World Summit on the Information Society, phase 2
Ottawa, 17-18 March 2005

The UNPFII, as well as Canada, Australia, U.S. and Norway advocated that efforts be made to ensure an appropriate role for indigenous peoples in Phase 1 of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). As a follow up to these efforts the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, and indigenous peoples organizations are planning an Indigenous Thematic Planning Conference for Tunisia to be held in Ottawa from 17-18 March 2005 for phase 2 of WSIS.

Contact: Ms. Mirian Masaquiza, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1 917/367-6006.

United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force: harnessing the potential of ICTs for education
Dublin, 13-14 April 2005

The United Nations ICT Task Force Global Forum on “Harnessing the Potential of ICTs for Education” will be held in Dublin from 13-14 April and will explore the intersection of ICT, education, development and the MDGs. The Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI), incubated through the combined efforts of two ICT Task Force working groups and now a free-standing initiative, will co-host the Forum. This Global Forum will bring together panellists and participants from the fields of education, ICTs and development, encouraging the exchange of diverse perspectives and embracing those who may be new to the ICT4D discussion. The aim is to engage new actors, build on past experiences, break new ground and forge new partnerships. Key areas include how to improve education, empower communities, and accelerate socio-economic development, thereby supporting achievement of the MDGs by 2015, through the widespread deployment of ICTs in schools.

Contact: UN ICT Task Force Secretariat, +1 212/963-5796.

Peer review of the French national sustainable development strategy
Paris, 7-11 February 2005

At the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, the President of the French Republic pledged to submit the country’s National Sustainable Development Strategy for review by a selected group of peer countries. Follow-up was undertaken by the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, which prepared a pilot methodology and convened the peer review with representatives from Belgium, Ghana, Mauritius and the United Kingdom. The Division for Sustainable Development was also invited to participate in the review held from 7-11 February 2005, in Paris, France. This innovative approach included representatives from both government and civil society in France as well as from each of the peer countries, and it resulted in a set of recommendations on the process, content, outcome and monitoring of the French NSDS. The Government of France and the peer review countries are expected to co-host a side event on this new approach during the thirteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in April 2005.

Contact: Ms. Mary Pat Silveira, Division for Sustainable Development.

Consultative meetings on the ten-year review of the World Programme of Action for Youth
Lisbon, 31 January-4 February 2005
New York, 14-17 February 2005

The UN Programme for Youth recently organized two consultative meetings with youth organizations and youth representatives to review achievements made since the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Youth in 1995. The first meeting was hosted by the Government of Portugal from 31 January to 4 February 2005 and the second meeting took place at the UN Secretariat in New York from 14 February to 17 February 2005. Summary reports of the discussions and recommendations from the meetings were prepared by the participants and are available at the website.

Contact: Mr. Joop Theunissen, Division for Social Policy and Development, + l 212/963-7763.

Technical cooperation

Global initiatives

18th UN/INTOSAI joint seminar on government auditing Vienna, 18-22 April 2005
DPADM and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) are organizing the 18th UN/INTOSAI Joint Seminar on Government Auditing, to be held in Vienna, Austria from 18- 22 April. Representatives from DPADM will deliver the welcome address and a presentation entitled: “Auditing e-government as a tool to empower citizens and further socio-economic and human development”.

Contact: Ms. Esther Stern, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, + 1 212/963-8100.

United Nations Foundation to support DESA in CSD preparation and renewable energy promotion

The UN Foundation and DESA have long collaborated in promoting energy for sustainable development. At the recent meetings, DESA briefed UNF on the preparation for CSD 14/15 in 2006/07 that will focus on energy, atmosphere, climate change and industry development, and welcomed UNF, along with other stakeholders, to contribute to the preparation process. As a result, UNF agreed to support a cluster of DESA's initiatives that are important to CSD 14/15 preparation. Included are: a) consultation at the regional level, b) policy study on key issues related to the JPOI implementation, and c) UN-Energy activities. UNF and DESA will also continue cooperation in promoting renewable energy with a focus on biomass. In this regard, both parties will develop two projects. One is to assist China in preparing its biomass development roadmap and the other to promote the regional cooperation in Asia for bio-fuel utilization. Project development work is well under way in this regard.

Contact: Mr. Shaoyi Li, Division for Sustainable Development, +1 212/963-8797.

Africa south of the Sahara

Science and technology park development in Africa
Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal

DSD is undertaking a development account project on "International Partnerships on New and Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Development". These new and emerging technologies include ICTs, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, new energy and fuel technologies. Based on the declaration produced by the 2002 Beijing Science and Business Forum on New and Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Development, the project is designed to provide assistance to developing countries in Africa for the development of Science and Technology Parks. Excluding South Africa and northern Africa where such parks already exist, the remaining countries in the region were evaluated against the essential criteria needed for the establishment of such a park. Four nations were identified as having the necessary criteria: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal. Specialized consultants and training opportunities on the establishment and operation of science and technology parks are being provided to support efforts to establish parks in these countries. An on-going assessment involving asset mapping, peer benchmarking, and opportunity analysis will identify which one of the four countries will be the focus of special assistance in establishing a Science and Technology Park on New and Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Development. President John A. Kufuor of Ghana has already met with the project manager and committed his Government's support to the project should a site in Ghana be selected for the park.

Contact: Mr. Walter Shearer, Division for Sustainable Development, + 1 212/963-8444.

Workshop on environmental statistics
Dakar, 28 February-4 March 2005

The workshop is organized by UNSD, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, the Economic Commission for Africa, and ECOWAS. The main objectives of the workshop are to familiarize participants with concepts and methods of environmental statistics and indicators; provide a forum for exchange of information on the status of national environment statistics; and establish a network of environmental statisticians in the region. The workshop will have particular focus on data collection of water, waste, land and air statistics. There will be two participants from each country in the ECOWAS region, one from the national statistical office and the other from the environmental ministry or equivalent institution.

Contact: Mr. Ulrich Wieland, Statistics Division, +1 917/367-4201.

Workshop on energy statistics
Abuja, 14-17 March 2005

This workshop is organized by the Statistics Division in collaboration with ECOWAS.

Contact: Mr. Karoly Kovacs, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4748.

Workshop on public policies and the policy process related to poverty and the MDGs
Bamako, 19-21 April 2005

In conjunction with the Government of Mali, DPADM is organizing a Workshop on “Public Policies and the Policy Process Related to Poverty and the MDGs" to be held in Bamako, Mali from 19 – 21 April. Participants will review the options and strategies concerning the theme of the Workshop, and will work towards producing the following three outputs: (1) an operational framework for the pro-poor policy process; (2) methodologies, including indicators, for measuring the impact of public policies related to the MDGs, especially poverty reduction; and (3) institutional arrangements for information-sharing, lessons-learning and capacity-building among French-speaking Sub-Saharan countries. Participants will include government and civil society representatives from Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

Contact: Mr. Jean Le Nay, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, + 1 212/963-5552.

Arab States

Regional workshop on national sustainable development strategies and indicators of sustainable development for the Arab region

From 12 to 14 December 2004, countries from the Arab Region met in Cairo for a Regional Workshop on National Sustainable Development Strategies and Indicators of Sustainable Development. The workshop was hosted by the Government of Egypt and organized by the Division for Sustainable Development, in close cooperation with ECA, ESCWA, UNEP and UNDP. Participants focused on developing NSDS, ensuring an enabling environment, monitoring and assessment, financing and capacity-building and they suggested a number of activities to be carried out at both the national level and by international organizations to support the NSDS process. Papers presented at the workshop, as well as the workshop report, are available on the website of the Division for Sustainable Development.

Contact: Ms. Mary Pat Silveira, Division for Sustainable Development.

Regional forum on reinventing government in the Arab States
Dubai, 21-23 March 2005

The Regional Forum on Reinventing Government in the Arab States is being organized by DPADM and UNDP/RBAS Programme of Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR), in partnership with the Executive Office, Government of Dubai. The event will be held from 21 to 23 March 2005 in Dubai. The purpose of the Forum is to share the experiences of the participating countries in fostering integrity, transparency and accountability in the public sector. To this end, the findings of a study carried out by UNDESA in 2003, with the support of UNDP/RBAS, will be presented. The study involved a regional survey and national case studies on public sector transparency and accountability, covering six countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen. The regional study examined the rules, procedures and practices followed in public sector financial, human resources and information management.

Contact: Ms. Elia Armstrong, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1. 212/963-2926.

Asia and the Pacific

DESA energy project wins advertising award

A DESA-implemented and GEF-funded national consumer education campaign in China won two national awards for effective advertising. The project works with China’s State Environment Protection Administration and is assisting refrigerator manufacturers in developing and marketing energy efficient refrigerators. The television and print ads focused on the environmental and economic benefits of energy efficient refrigerators and won 2004 awards in both Silver EFFIE Corporate Image Category and a Gold Creative Category. EFFIE is a recognized award for effective advertising.

Contact: Mr. Mohan Peck, Division for Sustainable Development, + 1 212/963-8799

Latin America and the Caribbean

Incorporation of ICT in the operation of Governments
Universidad Virtual de Monterrey, Mexico, 12 March 2005

Technologico de Monterrey, Mexico has launched a Virtual University, and is currently conducting a course on e-government for some 1,200 public officials in South America. They are using DPADM’s 2003 World Public Sector Report: E-government at the Crossroads as a textbook. On 12 March 2005, DPADM will give a presentation on "Incorporation of ICT in the operation of governments and its impact on the delivery of public services" in Monterrey to the local participants, to be transmitted to all other participants of the course.

Contact: Mr. Jerzy Szeremeta, Tel. + 1 212/963-3924

Consultative meeting on the creation of an economic and social council for Bolivia
Cochabamba, Bolivia, 31 March -1 April 2005

DPADM, in coordination with the Office of the Under-Secretary-General of DESA, is organizing a high-level Consultative Meeting for the Creation of an Economic and Social Council in Bolivia, to be held in Cochabamba, Bolivia from 31 March – 1 April. The Economic and Social Council has become an institution proven to strengthen democracy through the participation of the economic and social sectors in the decision-making process of the State. Even though it is a consultative body, their recommendations are an important signal to the State due to its high representative level. This positive experience being developed in Bolivia will be replicated in other countries of the region with the support of UNDESA. The Consultative Meeting will be attended by the highest representatives of the socioeconomic and political sectors of Bolivia. DESA has also invited the Presidents of the Economic and Social Councils of Brazil, France, Holland and Spain, who will be sharing with the Bolivians the experiences of the Councils in their respective countries.

Contact: Mr. Jose Sucre-Ciffoni, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-0701.

Technical meeting on e-government readiness and subregional development in Central America
Managua, Nicaragua, 21-22 April 2005

DPADM is organizing a Technical Meeting on E-government Readiness and Subregional Development in Central America to be held in Managua, Nicaragua from 21 – 22 April. The event is organized in cooperation with the Government of Nicaragua and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and will take place back-to-back with the Second Meeting of the Central American Task Force on e-Government, which is scheduled to take place on 22 April. Participants will include the heads of the central e-government offices of the following countries: Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, and representatives of selected regional and international organizations. The meeting is organized under the sponsorship of the Italian Government.

Contact: Mrs. Angela Capati-Caruso, + 1 212/963-5318.

Workshop on international economic and social classifications
Montevideo, 14-18 March 2005

This Workshop is jointly organized by the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs' Statistics Division and the Statistics and Economic Projections Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Workshop will focus on the current revision processes of economic and social classifications.

Contact: Mr. Ralf Becker, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4600.

Publications and websites


World Survey on Role of Women in Development, 2004 edition: Women and International Migration

A panel discussion to mark the launch of the flagship publication World Survey on the Role of Women in Development: Women and International Migration will be held on 3 March 2004 from 1.00 to 3.00 p.m. in Conference Room 2. The Under-Secretary-General, Mr. José Antonio Ocampo will make the introductory remarks as well as moderate the panel. Expert panellists on the issue of women and international migration will make presentations on women’s labour migration, trafficked women and girls and women refugees and displaced persons.

Contact: Ms. Sharon Taylor, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 212/963-5226.

Technical reports

World Fertility Report 2003

The publication, World Fertility Report 2003 (ST/ESA/SER.A/234), has been issued by DESA's Population Division. The publication presents data on fertility, marriage patters, contraceptive use and national policies with respect to childbearing for 192 countries of the world. A summary of the findings, in all official languages of the United Nations, is also given. Among other things, the World Fertility Report 2003 shows that women and men in developing countries are marrying later, having fewer children and having them later, following the pattern earlier set in the developed world. As a result, average fertility in developing countries has declined to under three children per woman.

Contact: Ms. Vasantha Kandiah, + 1 212/963-3207.

World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision

This 2004 revision of World Population Prospects provides crucial demographic information and population figures for the coming assessment of progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

World Population Monitoring 2003: Population, Education and Development

World Population Monitoring 2003: Population Education and Development, has been prepared in response to Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/55, in which the Council endorsed the terms of reference and the topic-oriented and prioritized multi-year work programme proposed by the Commission on Population and Development at its twenty-eighth session. According to the multi-year work programme, which was to serve as a framework for the assessment of the progress achieved in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (1994), a series of reports on a special set of themes would be prepared annually. The Commission, in its decision 2000/1, decided that the special theme for the Commission at its thirty-sixth session in 2003 should be “Population, education and development”, which is the subject of the report.

Statistical compilations

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS On-line

This publication provides monthly statistics on 50 subjects from over 200 countries and areas, together with special tables illustrating important economic developments. Quarterly data for significant world and regional aggregates are included regularly.

Vol. LVIII – No. 11
November 2004

Special features in this issue: Indices of world industrial production by branches of industry and by regions; Producers’ or wholesale price indices; Earnings in manufacturing, by sex; Construction of new buildings; Total exports and imports by regions: volume and unit value indices and terms of trade; World exports by commodity classes and by regions; Technical notes.

Vol. LVIII – No. 12
December 2004

Special features in this issue: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Fuel imports, developed economies: unit value indices, volume indices and value; Indicators on fuel imports, developed economies; Registration of new motor vehicles; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports: unit value indices, volume indices and value; Selected series of world statistics.

Contact: Mr. Keith Tong, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4568.

Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook, 2002 edition
Sales Number E/F.04.XVII.11

The Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook provides statistics on the production of about 530 major industrial commodities. Data are provided for a ten-year period and for approximately 200 countries and territories. The commodities have been selected on the basis of their importance in world production and trade. At the end of the publication are two annexes: an index of commodities in alphabetical order; and a table of correspondence among ISIC-based commodity codes, SITC Rev.2, SITC Rev.3 and Harmonized System (HS) codes.

Contact: Mr. Karoly Kovacs, Statistics Division, + 1 212/963-4748.

World Statistics Pocketbook: Small Island Developing States
Containing data available as of 30 December 2003 (special issue preliminary). Not a sales item.

The present special issue of the United Nations annual World Statistics Pocketbook provides a compilation of basic social, economic and development indicators that together comprise a framework for assessing in quantitative terms each State’s current development situation. Its issuance coincides with the International Meeting for the 10-year Review of the Programme of Action, in January 2005 in Port Louis, Mauritius.

Contact: Mr. Virgilio Castillo, Statistics Division, + 1 212/963-4867.


Economic and Social Council

The redesigned website of the Economic and Social Council is part of the overall outreach activities of the Council. It provides accurate information on the work of the Council for delegations and the general public. Furthermore, the user-friendly website will assist the Secretariat in working more effectively as essential information can be obtained from the website, including individual ECOSOC resolutions and decisions.

Contact: Aliye Celik, Chief, Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/ 963-4201.

Multilingual Beijing review and appraisal website

The review and appraisal website is available in six official United Nations languages. The website features information about the review and appraisal session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Contact: Mr. Adrian Curley, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 917/ 367- 3581.

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The website has included a detailed information note on the 4th session of the UNPFII, as well as procedures for pre-registration, and side events registration. Please keep a look out for documents submitted to the Fourth Session which will be uploaded on the website.

Contact: Mr. Sushil Raj, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1 917/367-5798.

UN Statistical Commission 2005

Latest documents for the thirty- sixth session of the Statistical Commission, New York, 1-4 March 2005.

Contact: Ms. Li Wang, Statistics Division, +1 212/ 963-9547.

Global Statistical News

Newly created site with the latest statistical news and updates from the Statistics Division, and the statistical community around the globe. This site, developed in place of the discontinued quarterly UN Statistics Newsletter, includes an up to date calendar of events and latest publications of UNSD, international agencies and working partners in statistics.

Contact: Ms. Luzmila Lambrano, Statistics Division, + 1 212/ 963-7992.

Re-organization of the Statistics Division

The Statistics Division has been re-organized as of 1 February 2005 to reflect the latest work programme and substantive areas of statistical work.

Contact: Mr. Santiago Ferrer, Statistics Division, +1 917/367-0058.

Conflict prevention, peace-building, and development

The DESA task force on conflict prevention, peace-building, and development has launched a new website highlighting the department’s work in this area.

Contact: Ms. Maria Lehtinen, Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/ 963-7478.

Comings and goings


Hania Zlotnik of Mexico has been appointed Director of the Population Division. Ms. Zlotnik, a native of Mexico, received her undergraduate degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in mathematics, and her PhD from Princeton University in statistics and demography. She started her professional career as a research associate at the Washington-based National Research Council in 1977. She has been a UN staff member for over 22 years, serving successively as Chief of the Mortality and Migration Section, Chief of the Estimates and Projections Section and, most recently, Chief of the Demographic Analysis Branch. An internationally recognized expert on migration, she is the Vice-President of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.

Calendar March

Commission on the Status of Women
49th session : Review and appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
New York, 28 February-11 March 2005

Statistical Commission
36th session
New York, 1-4 March 2005

Economic and Social Council
Preparatory event for the 2005 high-level segment on the Millennium Development Goals and follow-up to conferences
New York, 16-17 March 2005


Commission on Population and Development
38th session
New York, 4-8 April 2005

Committee of Experts on Public Administration
4th session
New York, 4-8 April 2005

Committee for Development Policy
7th session
New York, 4-8 April 2005

Commission on Sustainable Development
13th session
New York, 11-22 April 2005

United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force
8th meeting
Dublin, 13-15 April 2005

Economic and Social Council
Special high-level meeting of the Council with the Bretton Woods Institutions and World Trade Organization
New York, 18 April 2005

Economic and Social Council
2005 resumed organizational session
New York, 27-28 April 2005

Special events

Observance of the International Women’s Day
New York, 8 March 2005

In cooperation with the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality, OSAGI, DAW and DPI organize the official observance of International Women's Day on 8 March, which occurs during the annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The theme “Gender equality beyond 2005: Building a more secure future” has been chosen to highlight the connections between the ten-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, the special summit on progress made in the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals and the report by the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. The panel will be opened by the Secretary-General (to be confirmed). Panellists are Ms. Rachel Mayanja, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women; Mrs. Nafis Sadik, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General and member of the High-level Panel; H.E. Mr. Enrique Berruga, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations; Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-Habitat; Ms. Jessica Neuwirth, President, Equality Now. Mr. Shashi Tharoor will moderate the event. The panel will take place on 8 March from 10 am to 12 noon in Conference Room 2.

Contact: Sylvia Hordosch, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, +1 212/ 963- 5450.

Exhibition on 30 years of United Nations efforts to promote gender equality
New York, 4 March 2005

The exhibition entitled “Empower Women: 30 Years of the United Nations Efforts to Promote Gender Equality" will open in the General Assembly Visitors’ Lobby on Friday, 4 March 2005, as the United Nations commemorates the 30th anniversary of the First United Nations World Conference on Women in Mexico City in 1975. This exhibit highlights the work of the United Nations system and the state of gender equality and women’s empowerment today with images representing the Critical Areas of Concern addressed in the Beijing Platform for Action and the new challenges identified by the 23rd special session of the General Assembly.

Contact: Yasna Uberoi, Division for the Advancement of Women,+1 212/ 963-5253.

How to work with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
New York, 27 April 2005

The Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be organizing a one-day seminar for delegates of member states.

Contact: Ms. Hui Lu, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1-212/963-8378.

Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014

On 1 March, the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) will be officially launched in New York. The idea for the Education Decade was recommended at the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development held in 2002 and adopted by the 57th General Assembly in 2003. UNESCO, designated as the lead agency, has been developing an International Implementation Scheme for the Decade, to be carried out at all levels, in cooperation with the United Nations and other relevant international organizations, Governments, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders. Governments were urged by the General Assembly to consider the inclusion of measures to implement the Decade in their respective educational strategies and action plans by 2005. The launching ceremony will be preceded by an expert panel discussion on identifying key issues in the implementation of the Decade on the same day.

Contact: Ms. Hiroko Morita-Lou, Division for Sustainable Development, + 1 212/963-8813.

International Water Decade 2005-2014

The International Water Decade will be launched on 22 March 2005, World Day for Water. A launch event will also be organized during the 13th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. The primary goal of the Decade is to focus on the implementation of water-related programmes and projects in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in water and sanitation. A special emphasis will be placed on ensuring the involvement of women in these development efforts. Themes of the Decade include ‘Water, Biodiversity and Environment’, ‘Water and Health’, ‘Water, Food and Agriculture’, ‘Water and Energy’, ‘Water, Sanitation and Gender’ and “Disaster Preparedness”. The ‘Water for Life’ Decade is coordinated by UN-Water, which represents the United Nations system-wide inter-agency gathering of all relevant agencies, departments, funds and programmes involved with water-related issues. DESA, on behalf of UN-Water and in cooperation with DPI, is preparing a booklet for the International ‘Water for Life’ Decade and a DVD containing audio and visual educational materials on water-related issues. Many activities being planned for the Water for Life Decade will occur over the following 10 years at the international, national and local levels. At the national level, it is expected that each country will take its own approach to organize activities. All activities that will promote public awareness of issues related to the ‘Water for Life’ theme are encouraged to make ‘Water for Life’ a decade for action!

Contact: Ms. Marcia Brewster, Division for Sustainable Development, +1 212/963-8590.

DESA News is an insider's look at the United Nations in the area of coordination of economic and social development policies. The newsletter is produced by the Communications and Information Management Service of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with DESA Divisions, and is issued every two months.

Contact: Communications and Information Management Service, + 1 212/963-5874